Maryland, New Jersey hike EV fees to help fill budget gaps

Source: By Adam Aton, E&E News • Posted: Monday, July 8, 2024

States are expected to collect less revenue from gasoline taxes as more residents buy electric vehicles and fuel-efficient cars.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks at a 2021 news conference.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) speaks at a 2021 news conference at a parking lot in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, where four electric vehicle charging stations were recently installed. Wayne Parry/AP

New Jersey and Maryland officials are trying to patch state budget shortfalls by making it more expensive to own an electric vehicle.

Starting this month, the two states are hiking their registration fees in the face of billion-dollar deficits. The financial troubles are compounded by the erosion of gas tax revenues — a problem that will get worse for states nationwide as motorists buy more EVs and as gasoline-powered cars become more fuel-efficient.

Maryland and New Jersey have mandated that by 2035, all new vehicles sold in their states must be zero-emission.

New Jersey now will assess a $250 annual registration fee for EVs, and new vehicle owners must register for four years at once — meaning drivers who purchase a new EV will pay at least $1,000 more for it. It will mark the first time EV owners pay into the state’s transportation trust fund, which finances roads and bridges.